I'm going on a cruise to the Carribean and I was wondering which city is the best place to go snorkeling in...Belize, Majahual, Grand Cayman, or Cozumel? Thanks, any input would be a big help!!!!!! And are there any recommendations for which shore excursion I should choose?..I'm going on the Princess Line Cruise.
All have very good places to snorkel but the easiest to get to as well as one of the best places to me is Grand Cayman at Edans Rock or Devils Grotto which are both about 100 yards to the right of the tender dock right downtown. Simply get off the tender and walk to your right and enter the water. Wonderful place. You can also rent gear right there if you wish.
totally agree with Jim on Grand Caymen. As for Cozumel - snorkel Palencaar Reef - amazing snorkeling - book a ships tour on a dive boat, you will get a helpful crew and divemaster who will point out things for you to see. Our divemaster even dove down and brought up a sea turtle for all to see.
For us, Grand Cayman (Eden Rock) and Cozumel (Chankanaab) were the best on that itinerary. If you have your own equipment, you can snorkel at Costa Maya, but not much to see. Belize was not impressive (we went to Goff's Caye - fun excursion, but expected the snorkeling to be better........the reefs are really in bad shape and the snorkel leader doesn't allow you to swim over them (so they won't suffer more damage), so we didn't see many fish; lots of sea fans, etc..........you know what's funny? The pictures from our underwater camera turned out better that what we saw in Belize (color wise) ; usually it's the other way around.
When we were in Grand Cayman we went to Dead Man's Beach. It's smaller and less publicized but well worth it. Seven mile beach is way too CROWDED!! We took a cab and arranged ahead of time what time to be picked up. This beach is practically deserted with great snorkling. It has a few picnic tables and only shared the beach with 6 other people. I was a bit worried that the cab wouldn't come back, a risk you run with any do-it-yourself excursion, but he was there at the pre-scheduled time.
We just returned from a Carnival cruise to Belize, Cozumel and Progresso. The snorkling at Chankanaab National Park was the best. You do not need a shore excursion to go - take a $10 taxi to the park, admission is around $12-$15 and rent mask, snorkle and fins for $8.00. The park has lockers to rent, food and hiking. The folks on shore excursions only got to go in the water and then head back to the boat. Those who came on our own had a great and inexpensive day.
Just returned from the same itinerary. Belize and Costa Maya were not great snorkeling sites. Grand Caymen is much better and many have listed good sites already. In Cozumel no one has yet recommened Dzul Ha, which is just before the park. Snorkeling is better but the beach is not as nice. You can rent equipment right there at the beach. I have been to both Chankanaab and Dzal Ha and feel that Dzal Ha is better snorkeling.
Dzuh ha..The cost is free they just expect you to buy some beverages and or something
to eat my husband and I just bought some drinks they had tables and chairs with umbrella's and also what they call sunbeds which are loungers under some pappa's
aka nature umbrellas made out of palm branches I would guess. Sodas last year where about 2 usd and my pina colada was around 5usd I think hubby also had a rum and coke but not sure about that as he was driving there was a pool there but we didn't use it It did look like salt water and someone was cleaning it when we were there
someone at a table near us order a seafood platter and it look and smelled so Yummy
I almost ordered one. hope this helps..Theresa
I basically agree w/most of the people above. Grand Cayman is great for snorkeling. A lot of local operators offer a super 3 stop snorkel trip that includes Stingray City, the Coral Gardens (REALLY pretty!) and one other place that I've forgotten the name of. Cozumel offers some super snorkeling in Chankanaab. We think it's better than further out on many of the reefs. As for Belize, we didn't have a very good snorkeling experience there. We did do Shark Ray Alley and did see 2 large reef sharks and a large ray, but otherwise nothing that great. My husband went diving off Majahual (sp?) and it was pretty good, but not great, he said. There are dive/snorkel operators at little booths right in the shopping mall area there by the ship's port in Majahual.
I found Belize to be amazing for snorkeling - visibility was unbelieable and was the marine life. Roatan I snorkeled the "blue wall" but was not really impressed. Will try something diffrent nex time. Belize is my favorite port, not the mainland, but Caye Caulker and Abergris Caye.
I don't know, specifically, about Corona Beach. But any beach that has a sandy entrance to the water will not have good snorkeling. That's why you get a lot of suggestions to go to Chankanaab or Dzul Ha. We chose Chankanaab because we wanted to go to a place that we could spend the day at.
Why choose only one? I've snorkelled most of those places and they are all good but different from one another. The time of year and recent weather may also play a role in what you experience. Treat yourself to a day at Chankanaab in Cozumel, though. Go early and get a nice spot on the beach. It's soooo vacationy - Pepe will come and take your order and return with a big ol' Pina Colada in either a coconut or a pineapple! Don't forget the camera. The snorkelling is nice and there is a floating dock anchored offshore so you can swim out to it and bask in the sun. There is also a sunken statue that's neat to look at. The Bucaneer restaurant (the one by the showers) has very good ceviche and it's safe to eat there - done it many times.
Then by early afternoon when it's hot you can head back to the ship and do your shopping on the way. But enjoy the beach in the morning.
Belize had much more coral than Cozumel but less wildlife. No matter what you choose you will probably have a delightful experience.